This House Called Banyan Grove (with Audio!)

Posted by Fabrizio on Oct 23, 2017
1572 reads  
What a joy to be with all of you at yesterday Banyan Grove Blessing Ceremony. It felt like being present for the birth of something auspicious.

A little hint that we're all headed in the right direction... when Rev. Heng Sure and I crossed the Richmond Bridge Toll Plaza, we found that our toll was paid by the vehicle in front of us! We, of course, paid it forward. :)

Rev. Heng Sure and I wrote some lyrics to the tune of "House of the Rising Sun" which we performed at the Ceremony.
There is a house in West Marin
They call it Banyan Grove
Blessings flow to kindred souls
Who find its treasure trove

Yes in this house called Banyan Grove
Where kindness’ rivers run
Redwood trees and smiles that heal
Enliven everyone

You plant a seed and watch it grow
Then water it with care
And when the kindness blossoms show
You spread them everywhere

Here the famous Swami came
Across the Golden Gate,
In Banyan Grove he comes to mind
Each time we meditate

In the county called Marin
Where CEOs do play
They study and they cultivate
The Upper Middle Way

Come as strangers, leave as friends,
Pay it forward with a smile
Service is our currency
Generosity our style

All the saints who paved the Way
For us to be here now
Merely point back to the Mind
And lead us to the Dao

There is a house in West Marin
Where hawks fly with the dove
You may come worried, filled with doubt,
You leave there moved by love

Should you find the need one day
To be among true friends
Just make your way across the Bay
Where compassion never ends

There is a house called Banyan Grove,
It's just across the Bay,
Many a soul awakens there,
When kindness has its way

Among many inspirations during the day, I was grateful for Sam and Hiromi's 5-month-old daughter Ahn providing the happy burbling sounds during some of the quieter moments. It reminded me of my own daughter, Lauren. I distinctly remember the 5-month-old mark as being the time when she first started really interacting with the people and objects around her. That filled me with a sense of awe and wonder, as the mystery of who this little Being truly was started to reveal itself. It also filled me with a tremendous sense of parental responsibility to ensure that her inherent nature was truly given a chance to emerge and express in the world, held and guided with the right balance of discipline and freedom. Lauren turned 18 on Friday. And although she has had the opportunity to explore and express herself with great freedom along the way, trying on new ways of being, I am so happy to see that her fundamental nature as I saw it emerge is still intact, and indeed ever more ready to fully blossom.

I see the same opportunity and responsibility for Banyan Grove. And I have absolutely no doubt that what will emerge will both surprise and reassure us. Four walls built of Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Peace can only contain small miracles for so long, until they make their way out the windows and onto healing the whole world. I can't wait to witness it grow and flourish and surprise us all!



I am always deeply humbled every time I come into contact with this community. The ecosystem of ServiceSpace provides much-needed oxygen for me, and so many like me. Thank you!

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Comments (7)

  • Yoo-Mi Lee wrote ...

    Thank you so much for sharing for those of us who wish we could have been with you all. Looking forward to seeing the ripples that flow from this beautiful space.

  • Ariel Nessel wrote ...

    An auspicious beginning for Banyan Grove indeed! Those lyrics and the song set the tone for the seeds to bloom in this unique spot on the earth which will be provided immense nutriment, sun, and water. What a blessing to co-create the possibilities that come from a physical space in conjunction with the intangibles that have already been cultivated in the Service Space family!

  • Sophie Wu wrote ...

    Thank you Fab for sharing such a beautiful and moving reflection. Hearing the song in my mind although I've not actually had a chance to listen to it yet. But could very much relate to it :) Your reflection as a father touches daughters like myself :) Banyan Grove, what a space...

  • Birju Pandya wrote ...

    wow, i'm amazed at the lyrics and hope to hear the rendition soon! 

  • Fabrizio wrote ...

    We actually went home and recorded a version when we returned to the monastery. Hope you enjoy it! 

  • Ariel Nessel wrote ...

    And here is a link to the video of that memorable musical performance taken by Ameeta... 

  • Michaele Premet-Rosen wrote ...

    Brilliant! Thank you all for sharing this here.